Tourism businesses in Phuket, Phang Nga, and Krabi are up in arms over Thailand’s new entry restrictions, claiming they will have a negative impact on the sector. A total of 9 organisations have submitted a letter to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, Tourism Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn, and Tourism Authority of Thailand governor, Yuthasak Supasorn.
In the letter, the businesses are calling on the government to review the requirements, which apply to non-Thai nationals only. The new requirements originally stipulated that all arrivals would need to show proof of being fully vaccinated.
However, another Notice to Air Missions issued yesterday stated that passengers who could not show evidence of vaccination could be tested on arrival. This would appear to imply unvaccinated passengers can still travel but should expect to be tested on arrival in the kingdom.
The re-introduction of such measures is proving a headache for businesses in popular tourist destinations such as Phuket, with operators saying the move adds further complication to tourists’ travel plans and will put people off coming. They’ve also criticised the sudden introduction of the rules, saying they haven’t been given any time to prepare for the potential fallout.
In their letter, the organisations say while other countries have completely dropped Covid-19 rules, Thailand is going backwards by re-introducing them. They claim that one French tour agency has already criticised Thailand and is trying to cancel planned trips.
As a compromise, Thailand’s tourism businesses are suggesting the government impose the vaccination requirement only on arrivals from countries that require negative Covid tests before returning. They say the requirement should be dropped for people coming from countries where the virus is already considered endemic and where the majority are fully vaccinated.
SOURCE: The Phuket Express